Skip to comments.Carbohydrate Type, Not Amount, Linked to Obesity
Posted on 02/17/2005 12:42:49 PM PST by zarf
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - When it comes to carbohydrates, it's not how much you eat, but which kind, that makes a difference to your bathroom scale, new research shows.
People who are overweight do not appear to eat more carbohydrates overall than people who weigh less, the researchers report in the American Journal of Epidemiology. However, they found that overweight people tend to eat more refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, which cause a rapid spike in blood sugar.
"Total amount of carbohydrate is not related to body weight," Dr. Yunsheng Ma of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester told Reuters Health. "It's the type of carbohydrate that's important."
These findings suggest that low-carbohydrate diets, which recommend people cut back on all carbohydrates, are missing the mark, Ma added.
"Carbohydrates are not the enemy," he said in an interview. "But you have to watch the kind of enemy."
Ma explained that refined carbohydrates are often found in processed foods that contain a lot of sugar. This type of carbohydrate has what's called a high glycemic index, meaning it causes a rapid increase in blood sugar. The body stores that sugar in muscle, but if it is not used, it becomes fat, he noted.
In contrast, whole grains, fruits and vegetables have carbohydrates that don't have such high glycemic index, Ma said.
In the report, Ma and his colleagues note that in the last 20 years, the rate of obesity has increased, despite the fact that people are eating less fat. To help investigate the role carbohydrates play in obesity, the researchers measured the height and weight of 572 healthy people, and asked them to regularly report what carbohydrates they ate. Ma's team followed study participants for one year.
They found that people with a higher body mass index -- a measure of weight that factors in height -- tended to eat carbohydrates with a higher glycemic index. The amount of carbohydrates people ate had no influence on body mass index.
"Refined carbohydrates are no good, but the total amount of carbohydrates is okay," Ma noted.
He added that some countries now include a food's glycemic index on the labeling, which can be helpful for people trying to lose weight or deal with diabetes.
SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, February 15; 2005
something most of us who have studied this kind of thing have known for years.......glad science as usual is catching up......
If you want to lose weight, watch what fat people eat and then don't eat that.
You're telling me that refined carbohydrates like sugar and white bread are BAD for me??
And whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are GOOD??
Dude! You blow my mind!
>>All together now:
My thoughts exactly. This reminds my of my experience with local tv. I haven't had tv since 1997 and I have noticed, when exposed to the local tv news on occasion lately, that they speak as though to children.
I find it odd.
For example, potatoes have one of the highest GI numbers of all foods.
I used to work with a lot of Chinese people. They had the same kind of life the rest of us did, sendentary, sitting at a desk most of the week. Not a single one was fat. I think it was their diet, lots of veggies, rice, and not a lot of fried stuff.
"Exercize" is a word not in the article.
Not one single person that I know who is overweight, does regular exercize.
Not one single person that I know who exercizes regularly, is significantly overweight.
I haven't any idea, whatsoever, about their diets.
Yet another study from the "No Sh*t" department...
Maybe you need to get out more.
This was the basis of the book "Sugarbusters" wasn't it?
The book is what, 10 years old?
But Fat people eat everything!
It confirms what I've been saying, gathered from much research and bad dieting, for a very long time now. If only we could get the high fructose corn syrup out of just about everything we eat... It's like the corn lobbies and the diet industries are in collusion. The government tells Americans we're too fat, and they will tell us how to eat, and then they advocate the addition of these high glycemic additions to way too many processed foods that we eat...
But cultures that eat high quantities of pasta and rice don't have higher-than-average obesity rates. Why is that?
"But Fat people eat everything!"
That's not necessarily true. Some "fat people" ruined their metabolisms by becoming professional dieters.
I like the very apt reference to "Al-Reuters". I have read that they are controlled by the Saudis. If they are not, they certainly act as if they were.